System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

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System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:51 pm

My graphics card appears to be acting up (freeze, crash etc.., on games that have had no issue before, temp replacement card fixed problem) and this has given me the itch to upgrade my computer. This will be my first upgrade since assembling the computer in 2009. Budget is important to me and keeping the cost as closer to $1,000 than $1,500 would be nice.

I am looking for advice as to what to upgrade, in which order, taking into consideration age, potential bottlenecks, and value for the money when replacing parts. If I should replace the CPU to the limits of the current Motherboard or take this opportunity to replace it as well, cost is a consideration. I do not over clock or tweak any settings manly because it is outside of my current skill set. It is also ok to tell me there is nothing worth saving from the current computer.

One option I am considering is to make this “new” computer a dual boot Windows 7 / XP, another option is to keep it as a XP only and deal with OS upgrade another day, or bite the bullet and make it a Win 7 only (assuming all my old software will actually work in Win 7).

Uses; general office use + games such as Civ 4, WoW, Guild Wars 2, (sometimes old games in a Dos Box) etc… very rarely if ever play an FPS.

Below is my current system all advice appreciated.

Windows XP Media Center Edition 32 Bit

MB GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L 775 P45 RT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128345

CPU INTEL C2D E8500 3.16G 775 45N R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819115036

VGA EVGA 896-P3-1255-AR GTX260 RT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814130434

PC Power and Cooling SILENCER 750W QUAD S75CF Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817341011

CASE ANTEC THREE HUNDRED BK RT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811129042

MEM 2X2G MUSHKIN 996587 R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820146731

HD 640G WD WD6401AALS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822136319

SAMSUNG SH-S223Q/BEBS 22X SATA DVD Burner Black Drive

CPUCOOLER ARCTIC P4 ACFZ7-PRO R


Thank you in advance for your advice
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:21 pm

Welcome to the forums!

Start here for your upgrade needs. The latest sweet spot should carry the load for you at an affordable price. CPU/MB/RAM/video card upgrade is mandatory. Your Power supply and case should be just fine.

One more thing: Go to Windows 7 Professional (or at least Home Premium). You do not need Windows XP at this point for all new hardware.
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:44 pm

halt wrote: I am looking for advice as to what to upgrade...
Welcome to the Tech Report!

Your existing case and power supply are fine for any new build. Your existing DVD-RW drive is probably good enough to re-use unless you want to play Blu-ray movies. Your existing hard-drive can be re-used for storage.


Have you read Tech Report's System Guide?

Are you near a Micro Center? They have unbeatable in-store deals on the Core i5-3570K processor with a Z77 motherboard. You could save about $80 vs. buying on-line.


What do you think of some of these components for your upgrade?

$215 -15 code "EMCXTXR69" Intel Core i5-3570
or $220 Intel Core i5-3570K
Quad-core Ivy Bridge Core i5 processors provide the best performance in most games. The "K" version is unlocked for overclocking. There's little benefit to the hyper-threading that you would get if you spent $100 more to get a Core i7 processor.

optional $35 -5MIR Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
This runs quieter and cooler than the stock Intel heatsink.

$135 -15MIR Asus P8Z77-V LK
or $117 ASRock Z77 Pro4-M
or $107½ Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H
or $125 ASRock Z77 Extreme3
Any of these Z77 motherboards has 4 PCIe slots and 4 DIMM slots.

$55 2x4 GiB PC3-14900 G.Skill F3-1866C9D-8GAB (DDR3-1866, CAS 9, 1.5 V)
or $58 2x4 GiB PC3-12800 G.Skill F3-1600C8D-8GAB (DDR3-1600, CAS 8, 1.5 V)
or $100 2x8 GiB PC3-14900 G.Skill F3-1866C9D-16GSR (DDR3-1866, CAS 9, 1.5 V)
8 GiB of memory is enough for most current games. Don't get any that's slower than PC3-12800, higher latency than CAS 9 or higher voltage than 1.5 V.

$180 HIS H785F2G2M Radeon HD7850 2GB
or $290 -20MIR Asus GTX660TI-DC2O-2GD5 GeForce GTX660Ti 2GB
or $300 -30MIR XFX FX-795A-TNFC Radeon HD7950 3GB
Radeon HD7850 2GB is a great value. It can run Guild Wars 2 quite well at 1080p. The other two cards would allow most games to run with settings at maximum at 1080p or would provide good performance on a higher resolution monitor (e.g.: 2560x1440).

$170 0.25 TB Samsung 840 Series
An SSD is hundreds of times quicker than your mechanical hard-drive. This is where you want to install your operating system and most-used applications.

$0 Existing 0.64 TB Western Digital WD6401AALS
or 110 -10 code "EMCXTXR58" 2.00 TB Seagate STBD2000101

$0 Existing DVD-RW
or $40 LG UH12NS29 BD-ROM/DVD-RW

$0 Existing PC Power and Cooling Silencer 750W Quad S75CF
$0 Existing Antec Three Hundred
$0 Existing Keyboard and mouse
$0 Existing speakers or headphones

$0 Existing 1080p or better monitor
or $400 Auria EQ276W 27" 2560x1440 IPS LCD monitor

$80 Windows 8 64-bit OEM
Forget about Windows XP. It's been obsolete for more than six years now. You need a 64-bit operating system and Windows 8 is the current version. Since you're skipping Windows Vista and Windows 7, you'll only have to adjust to changes in the user interface one time.
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:57 pm

Thank you both for the replies.

Not near a Micro Center, there is an Altex and a Fry's near by (but really do not like Fry's), was considering all from New Egg (shopping of course for best deals)

I guess the biggest decision is going to be operating system. To be honest I have not even considered Windows 8.

Is the Windows 8 option to run "XP" programs as good as Windows 7? Yes there are a few XP programs I would like to have an option to run and run well.
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:06 pm

If you're really desperate to run stuff under Windows XP that won't run on Windows 7 or Windows 8 64-bit (we're talking about really old 16-bit Windows programs. The even-older 16-bit DOS programs run fine in DOSBOX), then just keep your old system running with Windows XP. You don't want that ancient operating system on your new hardware.
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:57 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:If you're really desperate to run stuff under Windows XP that won't run on Windows 7 or Windows 8 64-bit (we're talking about really old 16-bit programs), then just keep your old system running with Windows XP. You don't want that ancient operating system on your new hardware.

Couldn't you run XP in a VM just for those programs that really wont work in 7?
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:49 am

And... is the VM for XP the same, better or worse in Win 8 vs Win 7?
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:49 pm

It would depend on the resources that you give the Windows XP VM. VMs usually run just as good as actual machines when you have the appropriate hardware. Looking at JustAnEngineers first post he is spot on with the hardware. The only thing I could really disagree with is the 7850 and the reason is that by the look of your gaming selection you don't need something so powerful and you could save a few bucks by going to something a little cheaper like a Radeon HD 7770 GHz edition. However to make sure you can run all games and any potential games you see that you might want to run the 7850 is probably the better card. If you take the VM route I advise getting 8GB of RAM. Virtual Machines love RAM.

Link to the 7770 cards on Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%20600286767%20600298539&IsNodeId=1&name=Radeon%20HD%207770%20GHz%20Edition
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:50 pm

Found this link for "Hyper V" - it appears to be the way to run XP software in Win 8. Does it compare well with Win 7 XP Mode?
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download ... x?id=36188
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:26 pm

Techgoudy wrote: The only thing I could really disagree with is the 7850 and the reason is that by the look of your gaming selection you don't need something so powerful and you could save a few bucks by going to something a little cheaper like a $110 Radeon HD7770 GHz edition. However to make sure you can run all games and any potential games you see that you might want to run the 7850 is probably the better card.

Guild Wars 2 plays acceptably at 1920x1080 with the Radeon HD7770 in my living room PC with moderate settings. It even plays tolerably with a wimpy GeForce GT620M in my ultrabook at 1920x1080 with minimum settings.

Radeon HD7770 doesn't have quite enough shader power to maintain a really fluid game experience in big battles with all of the Guild Wars 2 graphics options turned to maximum.

Since we're talking about a $1000+ budget, I recommend spending the extra $70 to get the Radeon HD7850 2GB. This will let you enjoy the beauty of Tyria with the graphics options near maximum.

If Radeon HD7850 2GB appeared in these benchmarks, it would perform slightly below the Radeon HD7870.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gui ... 268-6.html
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:39 pm

(disclaimer: auxy did not read the thread)
JustAnEngineer wrote:Since we're talking about a $1000+ budget, I recommend spending the extra $70 to get the Radeon HD7850 2GB. This will let
you enjoy the beauty of Tyria with the graphics options near maximum.
With a $1000+ budget, for a primarily-gaming PC, shouldn't you be aiming for GTX670 or Radeon 79xx performance? ┐(‘~`;)┌
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:41 pm

auxy wrote: With a $1000+ budget, for a primarily-gaming PC, shouldn't you be aiming for GTX670 or Radeon 79xx performance?
That's why I offered the GeForce GTX660Ti 2GB or Radeon HD7950 3GB as alternatives to the Radeon HD7850 2GB.
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:51 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
auxy wrote: With a $1000+ budget, for a primarily-gaming PC, shouldn't you be aiming for GTX670 or Radeon 79xx performance?
That's why I offered the GeForce GTX660Ti 2GB or Radeon HD7950 3GB as alternatives to the Radeon HD7850 2GB.

Yah! ☜(゚ヮ゚☜)

(*゚ノO゚) Listen to JAE, he's on the right track!

By the way, despite my recent acquisition of a GTX TITAN, I'd recommend the 7950 over the GTX660Ti.
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:19 pm

I'd recommend that you buy yourself a new PSU. As much as that is a good supply you have, god knows how much abuse its taken running your old rig, or if its partially responsible for your current system instability. It would be terrible to use it on your new hardware and cause issues or damage. Even if it works great for 2 years, the power supplies life expectancy isn't going to be equal to your new parts. Start with all new when talking electrical.

If you wanted to keep your old system intact for any reason you can also pickup on an inexpensive and great Corsair 200r case for under $50 or upgrade to one of their higher end cases if you'd like for 20-30 bucks more.

When I built my newer rig about a year ago around the i5-2500k I bought a slightly used 6850 for a whoopin $100 shipped from another forum member. You may be able to do the same if you watch the bargain basement forums on TR. Just an option if you want to save about $100. I do play MMO games and FPS and the card does me very very well. You could buy a slightly used 7xxx series card from another reputable member if that is acceptable.

Also suggest getting either 2 x 8GB sticks for ram or a single 8gb and buy another later if you really need to save ATM. Don't bother with 4gb sticks only because it will make it harder to hit 16 later without flooding your ram slots with dimms. If you can manage jump to the 2x8 for the dual channel benefits, especially if running a higher end card for games like wow which love to eat a few gigs of ram for the game.

Spend the extra $30 on Win 7 pro for longevity. They cut support for their home product releases and pro end up getting security updates longer after end of life for the home suites. Especially with how terrible win 8 is doing. The military/government is using Win 7 and will probably get the updates for pro extended just like they did for XP Pro. The government gets their way, especially considering windows 8 doesn't bring much or any functionality for government uses.
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:53 am

Thank you all for your excellent advice on the hardware. I will start the process of buying the parts shortly.

However, the OS still seems to be a open question.

If Hyper V running XP in Win 8 is the same as XP mode in Win 7 ( I know they are both virtual, just not sure if one or the other has more capabilities), getting Win 8 is an option. Keeping my old machine for XP is not an option since it is acting up.

So Win 7 Pro or Win 8? Any strong opinions here one way or the other?

Reading threads like the one in this link only confuse me further
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/For ... 23ac1e653/
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:19 pm

Perhaps you can tell us what XP programs you're using that are a compatability concern?
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:36 pm

The only XP programs I am concerned about are XP based games.

I occasionally run Dos based games to refresh my memory on specific game mechanics, but they are less of an immediate concern as I am keeping an old laptop or two with XP and a Dos Box (the laptops are not powerful enough to run most of the XP games I would like to continue having access to).

Trying to figure out if the issues with XP on Win 8 are more of a "community" learning curve issue or an inherent weakness of the Win 8 OS and I should upgrade to Win 7.
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:41 pm

I think what the other members are trying to get at is, are these games that truly will only run on Windows XP? Games will likely not run well in a virtual machine. I think the general feeling is that you should really look past XP and not have that hold you back.

I think the big difference between XP Mode on Windows 7 and Hyper-V in Windows 8 is that XP Mode is free, with Windows 8 you would need to purchase a Windows XP license (which is pretty hard to do at this point).
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:32 pm

If it is a game you're trying to run, I recommend you just dual boot. Most likely the games you are tying to run will run on Windows 7 and (hopefully) Windows 8. Honestly, the choice between Windows 7 and Windows 8 is really personal preference. Windows 8 is the more dominate of the two with all of the under the hood enhancements. It makes sense to stay current, however Windows 7 is still an excellent choice for those not ready to jump into something completely new. If I were in your shoes I would probably go with Windows 8 to get use to the new GUI/Start Menu and receive the performance enhancements. I would also install the applications your trying to run in Windows XP and test them in whichever new operating system you choose. If they work use Windows 7 or Windows 8 and if they don't, dual boot Windows XP. I really hate to recommend Windows XP, it's about time we put it to rest.
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:47 pm

As far as an XP license I have one (a Original Microsoft Disk XP Media Center Edition not an OEM License, so when I decommission my current XP device I can use the license).

I know that the games I want to be able to get access to will run in Windows 7 XP Mode.

I like your idea, install Windows 8, try to get it to work, if it does not work, set up a dual boot system. The XP boot option will not need internet access so virus/malware will not be a large concern.

However do you know if the Win 8 Hyper-V virtual machine running XP performs as well as Win 7 XP Mode? It would be helpful to know the answer to that question to set expectations.

Thank you.
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:10 pm

I guess I don't see the benefit of xp mode. I personally used VMware workstation which is free. You could load your xp via that and run your games. If you can use does box, it works well in windows 7. I think windows 8 sucks personally and feel its a horrible change of ui that is pointless for a desktop or anything without a touch screen. I'd go Win 7 Pro and use VMware or dual boot and not look back.
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:14 pm

Well Microsoft has poured a decent amount of money into Hyper-V so I would assume so, however I have no personal experience with either, as I use Virtual box and VMware Workstation.
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:18 pm

Welch wrote:I guess I don't see the benefit of xp mode. I personally used VMware workstation which is free. You could load your xp via that and run your games. If you can use does box, it works well in windows 7. I think windows 8 sucks personally and feel its a horrible change of ui that is pointless for a desktop or anything without a touch screen. I'd go Win 7 Pro and use VMware or dual boot and not look back.


VMware Workstation is not free, however VMware Player is: http://www.vmware.com/products/player/overview.html
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:23 pm

Got what seems to be a clearer answer from a Tech Pro that is dealing with these legacy issues for his clients. His advice is Windows 7 or dual boot with Win 8 as I will be disappointed in Win 8 Hyper - V performance.

"So to boil it all down, you’ll get better performance from a Win7 in XP mode than you will with Win 8 Hyper V of anything. The reason is that the Windows 8 Hyper V is a host system and your then running the other shell under it but windows still uses some overhead. The windows 7 version you suggest would have no overhead as it is just windows 7 forced to utilize only WinXP execution codes that don’t f-up the older stuff like 16bit execution instead of 32bit."
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:33 am

You still haven't said what legacy games you're referring to. Is it classified information? Are you sure there aren't any emulators available for these games? I just keep thinking that you're letting trivial things bog down your choices. Win7 isn't a bad choice, don't get me wrong, I just don't think legacy game compatability should be at the top of your list for choosing an OS. Unless I'm crazy, you can dual-boot Win8/XP too.
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:40 pm

Techgoudy wrote:
Welch wrote:I guess I don't see the benefit of xp mode. I personally used VMware workstation which is free. You could load your xp via that and run your games. If you can use does box, it works well in windows 7. I think windows 8 sucks personally and feel its a horrible change of ui that is pointless for a desktop or anything without a touch screen. I'd go Win 7 Pro and use VMware or dual boot and not look back.


VMware Workstation is not free, however VMware Player is: http://www.vmware.com/products/player/overview.html


I stand corrected :). Its been awhile since I've used the player. VMware is big on product segmentation, its the only downside of their software. Once you figure out which piece you actually need its great.
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Re: System Upgrade or Replacement time, advice needed

Postposted on Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:31 pm

Speaking of picking up video cards from the TechReport Bargain Basement...


$150 for a Sapphire 6950 modded to a 6970 2GB, Dual Fan.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=86789

Sapphire 6950 that has been modded to a 6970 - The original release ones were 6970's which were down clocked and had a few things disabled like shaders to make them 6950's to hit a price point. So its not like its an overclock or anything. For $150 bucks from a fairly regular TR poster, seems like a badass deal to me. I'd do it myself but I can't justify replacing a 6850 when its done me just fine in a system plenty of overkill for the games I already play.

Not to cut anyone out of what they deserve either. You could ask the cut off 20-30 bucks due to the new 8xxx series being on the horizon /shrug. A 7850 runs about 30 bucks more new and as a reference design with 1 fan, so its food for thought. Bare in mind you can't grab a 6950 and mod it to a 6970 really anymore. They were only the first month or so of release.

Just food for thought, hope it helps you save some cash on the card purchase.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

i5-2500K|Asus P67 Sabertooth|16GB Corsair 1600|MSI 7850 2GB|250gb Evo 840|Corsair 400R|ET750w PSU|Logitech G5|Dell 2420L|Corsair Vengeance 1300
Welch
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